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Finding Your Roots


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Deal of the Day: How I Met Your Mother
Today only, and while supplies last, suit up for all nine legendary seasons of the slap-happy show that took TV comedy to hilarious new heights. This 28-disc set comes in "The Playbook" encasing loaded with special features and never-before-seen content. Offer ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Saturday, November 22, 2014. Learn more
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Frequently Bought Together

Finding Your Roots + Faces of America + WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? SEASON 2 (US version)
Price for all three: $56.32

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007IUEDTO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,206 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This 10-part series with the renowned cultural critic and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. delves into the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans combining history and science in a fascinating exploration of race family and identity in today's America. Professor Gates shakes loose captivating stories and surprises in the family trees of Kevin Bacon Robert Downey Jr. Branford Marsalis John Legend Martha Stewart Barbara Walters and Rick Warren among many others.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 23, 2012
This is the second season of the PBS "genealogy" series "executive produced" by actress Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.. I reviewed the first season here on Amazon when it was released. This second season is similar to the first (which was titled "Faces of America")- but with a different array of celebrities searching for their ancestry.

Like all reality TV shows, once one becomes a hit there are copycat shows. I'm not sure which came first (and it really doesn't matter) but there is a similar show that aired on NBC titled "Who Do You Think You Are?". I've been watching both second season DVDs and enjoying both. I thought I'd point out the differences in both of my reviews.

Since "Who Do You Think You Are?" (WDYTYA) is on a commercial network, it obviously had commercials. With those deleted for the DVD, each episode runs only 42 minutes. And, because the producers want you to remember what happened before each commercial break (short-term memory loss? <g>), they rehash what came earlier after each of the six commercial breaks. As you will see by other reviews of both seasons, this is the biggest gripe both others and myself have with this series. The PBS series have no commercials so each episode is 58 minutes long with no breaks.

While the NBC show used it's funder, the commercial website Ancestry.com, to start the research and the celebrity not only does the research - with some guidance - but travels the country, and the globe, to visit the sites where their ancestors lived, Gates uses outside researchers to do the leg work and compiles the results into an "album: which he reviews with the celebrity subject. And Gates uses DNA, as well as documentary files and census records to search the heredity trail.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2012
Ostensibly a continuation to his 2010 series Faces of America Dr. Gates continues to serve up genealogies on fairly well known individuals whose family histories more often then not are fascinating and captivating. It's all quite enjoyable and makes for great storytelling, but as a genealogist myself I can't help but wish Dr. Gates would show the actual effort that goes on behind the scenes to create these family histories. I'm certain he must have quite a retinue of researchers working diligently to find all of this information as surely a tremendous amount of effort must go into gathering all of this information. I likewise can't help but wonder what if he has an individual whose family history is rather dull and unexciting? Are they cut? Does he just go with different family branches until he finds something dishy? These are never really answered and I really wish he would do a behind the scenes episode to show how hard genealogists have to work to find this sort of information. That's minor quibbling however as the family histories Dr. Gates selected genuinely help tell the story of not only that individual but of our nation's collective history, researching a broad array of people representative of who we are as Americans. The result is endlessly fascinating.

Certain stories certainly pop more than others and I was particularly taken by the story of Angela Warnick Buchdahl on episode 5. Even though I'm neither Korean nor Jewish I found her own story absolutely fascinating not to mention her truly unique heritage and she's a person I'm truly interested in learning more about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Hertle on November 10, 2012
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I love this series on TV and wanted a copy for home. I have learned a lot about finding my own roots through seeing other people's journey's. And it was wonderful hearing other's stories both the joys and sorrows and the meaning each one found through researching their roots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doctor English on August 20, 2013
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Fascinating and even-handed look at the American story through tracing the ancestry of a variety of celebrities. Entertaining and instructive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dorothy howland on June 24, 2013
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this is a good movie for family viewing good history lesson very informative wanting more and more will watch again
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kate on August 13, 2013
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i really enjoyed this dvd it was so interesting,and to go as far back as some have done its amazing
catherine fletcher
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This video series is enjoyable viewing for anyone into family research. It is particularly valuable for those doing research on black ancestors. Like the other genealogy video series, it is quite superficial and neglects certain trails of evidence (i.e., too "Hollywoood" and not enough rigorous science). It does, however, show the use of DNA studies (done through 23andme) in the research of family history. Too bad it doesn't also use autosomal DNA results.
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